Veterans & Elder Care Services
Eldercare services benefits for Veterans and spouses
Q) As a Veteran, am I eligible for any in home care or living assistance? - J. Barfield - Sarasota
A) Yes, but, according to an analysis from the office of Veteran’s Affairs (VA), only 27 percent of Veterans and 14 percent of a widow(er)s who are likely eligible, actually receive any money from the Veterans Non-Service Connected (NSC) Improved Pension Benefit Program.
This program was established to assist qualified Veterans, and/or their surviving spouses and family, with financial support that enables Veterans to live independently while receiving the quality of care they deserve. In particular, funds are available for aging Veterans who need assistance with medical and non-medical elder care services, both in the home and in qualified facilities. In many cases, Veterans, along with their spouses and family, are unaware this benefit program exists.
We see that many of our clients are faced with the difficult task of covering their healthcare expenses. If they qualify for these funds, it takes a huge burden off of veterans and their families. The money they receive can be used to ensure they are given access to the eldercare services they need to remain safely in their home.
In order for a Veteran to qualify for the Veterans NSC Improved Pension Benefit Programs, they must have 90 days or more of active duty with at least one of those days served during a US-declared war. These benefits are designed for those who meet specific financial criteria and demonstrate a physical need for healthcare.
The Department of Veterans Affairs defines active duty as full-time service, other than active duty for training, as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, Environmental Science Services Administration or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or its predecessor, the Coast and Geodetic Survey.
Other qualifications and considerations:
- Discharge for any reason (other than dishonorable conditions)
- 65 years of age or older or are disabled
- Total financial assets
- Physical condition
- Current marital status (if you are the surviving spouse of a veteran)
- Total gross income versus medical deduction
Many veterans often assume they do not qualify for these benefits and that they are only available for those who have a service-related disability, not just because they turned 65 and are in need of eldercare services.
Applicants who plan to seek VA benefits for the first time must submit their Service Discharge Form (DD-214, DD-215, or for WWII veterans, a WD form) in addition to the following:
- Veteran’s birth certificate
- Veteran’s marriage certificate
- Children’s birth certificates or adoption papers
- Veteran’s death certificate
If you would like more information, there are several places to find additional information regarding the application process.
- Department of Veteran Affairs at 1-800-827-1000 or visit https://www.vba.va.gov
- State Veterans Service Officers can be found in Sarasota county at 941-861-2899
- Veterans Online Applications (VONAPP) provides the required forms online at https://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/faqs.asp
In addition, Comfort Keepers Bradenton works closely with local VA service officers who at no cost to you, will discuss your situation, request the correct documentation, and review your eligibility. If they find you do not qualify they will give you planning strategies to help you qualify for these benefits. Once approved, Comfort Keepers can also be the solution for quality elder care services.
For more information please email us at Bradenton@comfortkeepers.com or call us at (941) 220-6350.